Measure Would Create Database of Potential Organ Donors
State Sen. Jackie Speier (D) has introduced legislation (SB 108) to create a database of people willing to become organ donors when they die, the Ventura County Star reports. The registry would replace the "dot-on-the-driver's license" system, which many medical authorities call "useless." Instead, the Department of Motor Vehicles would issue a "consent form" with drivers' licenses, and the Department of Health Services would maintain an electronic record of that form to be checked when potential donors die (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 1/24). Speier introduced similar legislation last year, but it "stalled" in committee over the program's $500,000 start-up cost and the $250,000 annual budget required to maintain the registry (Gardner, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/24). Speier called the current organ donor registration system "woefully inadequate" and said that her proposed registry would lead to "more donors." People would be able to remove their names from the list, and family members would need to approve any donation. However, the registry would act as "sufficient proof" of intention to donate if a family member could not be located within 12 hours (Coleman, AP/Contra Costa Times, 1/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.